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HAM HOCK GREENS

04/03/17 — Heydon Hatcher

By Megan Winfrey

Pretty soon, we won't be seeing winter greens in our CSA box anymore, so I decided to make this delicious classic one last time this year. At Christmas and Thanksgiving, I am notorious for scouring the post-feast-table for ham hocks and other carcasses to use for stock, soup, and greens. I used my last ham hock for this mess of greens, and savored that rich, flavorful broth like it was going out of style - because IT IS.

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Ham Hock Greens
  • 2 bunches of greens (collards, chard, kale)
  • 1 meaty ham hock
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3 tbs. malt or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Hot sauce, for garnish (I like to use Tabasco)
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In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high.

Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until starting to brown. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook the onions until they are soft and golden, about 5-7 more minutes.

Stir in the cayenne and cook for another minute.

Add the broth, ham hock, and 1/2 cup water. Pile on the greens and cover, leaving the lid ajar. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then reduce to low heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the greens are very tender.

Remove the pot from the heat. Carefully take out the ham hock, place on a cutting board, and remove the tender bits of ham still clinging to the bone. Stir the ham into the greens along with the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and more vinegar if needed. Serve immediately, and pass the hot sauce around at the table.

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APR 3RD

04/04/17 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 3rd CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 3rd

Large Box
Beet, Red
Broccoli
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Mustard
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Basil
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Green
Turnip, White Japanese
Medium Box
Broccoli
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Collards
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Leek
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Green
Small Box
Beet, Red
Bok Choy
Broccoli
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Fennel
Leek
Turnip, White Japanese
Individual Box
Beet, Red
Broccoli
Greens, Red Mustard
Kohlrabi, White
Onion, Green
Radish, Red

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APR 3RD

04/04/17 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 3rd CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 3rd

Medium Box
Beet, Golden
Bok Choy
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Fennel
Herb, Spearmint
Leek
Onion, Green
Turnip, White Japanese

FIRST FRIDAY STAFF PICKS - APRIL '17

04/07/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

The arrival of a new month means another marvelous edition of our First Friday Staff Picks! We think that our staff is the best in the business (okay, okay, we are a little biased), but the JBG family hails from all over the place and covers the gamut in talents and interests. We love sharing events, adventures, and side projects that inspire and excite our JBG-ers (food-related or not) with the community. Check out the staff-curated list of favorites below!

Megan (Recipe Blogger): April means two things to me: My daughter's birthday and CRAWFISH. I'll be combining these two activities at the 28th Annual Llano Crawfish Open, which I've attended religiously for about a decade. You've got the beautiful Llano River in the background, formidable country music acts on stage with lots of two-stepping on the dance floor, giant flats of crawfish with all the fixins, ice cold beer, vendors, carnival food, insanely good people watching, and did I mention giant flats of crawfish with all the fixins? As if that wasn't enough to sell you, all profits go to local Llano charities. BOOM. Oh, and here's a classic photo of my dad with crawfish fingers.

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Travis (Wholesale Manager): The month of April has a whooooooooole lot going on.

First and foremost, there is some amazing live music going on this month. My favorite country band, Kill County, is playing the next two Sunday's at The Little Darlin'. If you haven't seen these guys yet, you are seriously missing out. Their music is exactly what country music should sound like- beautiful and sad. The Little Darlin' makes some mean cocktails, so I really can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon. More info here.

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On the topic of good country music, Wayne "The Train" Hancock is playing with Two Tons of Steel at the Barracuda on April 28th, and that show is not to be missed. Wayne is an absolute killer and a staple in the Texas country scene.

Aside from all the solid music going on this month, The Mobile Loaves and Fishes Community Forge is holding its Annual Forging Competition and last year was a real blast and a half. Come check out some wickedly talented blacksmiths go head-to-head while supporting the formerly homeless.

Ada (Marketing and CSA Manager): Old Settlers Music Festival! CAN NOT WAIT! It’s the weekend of April 20-23 in Driftwood, TX. I’ll be camping with friends and enjoying some live tunes from some awesome acts. Also, Sculpture Falls in the early mornings before the crowds descend.

Missoula (Farm Dog): My flower crown. Woof.


Chucha (Farm Dog): Not running. I’m never running again. I’m still tired from the 5k this past weekend.

"My legs are tired" -Chucha "My legs are tired" -Chucha. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Lucas Rager (Driver Extraordinare): BABA GANOUSH from Phoenicia Bakery. The best baba [ganoush] in town, or probably... maybe even... the world. This place has been open for a while, so I love the feel of it inside, it feels so established... like you're in a shop that has been there for decades, and that should be in NY or Philly. Great feel compared to some of the newer shops in Austin. There is always the same 100-year old lady working the counter who is so nice and always joking around. I'm kinda hesitant to even talk about this, because the last 3 times I've gone, they've been completely out of baba. So, this time I bought 4 huge tubs, and some fresh pita to go with. Pita was only 80 cents a bag. Get some!

Heydon (Blogger): I recently acquired an old Minolta from my mother, and boy, am I on a photo-takin’ kick. Check out this image of the JBG vineyards from this past weekend. The copious amount of primroses had me swooning, plus GRAPES?! Yes, please. I love Texas in the springtime with all the abundant wildflowers... No place I'd rather be.

Minolta image of the JBG vineyard that is SO BEAUTIFUL right now! Photo by Heydon Hatcher. Minolta image of the JBG vineyard. Photo by Heydon Hatcher.

Psyched to get out to west Texas for my one of my best friend’s weddings at the end of the month with some of my favorite folks. Sometimes a Legend will be there on Saturday night slingin' the funk, too. I can't think of a more magical concoction than quality folks, funky jams, big skies, and a partnership worth a whole lot of celebration. PS - Marfa Burrito, I'm coming for you.

Lovin’ Bikram Yoga East Austin… the classes will wring you out, and if bikram isn’t your jam, they offer intermittent vinyasa and yin classes that will really do you just right. The folks who teach here are the tops, too. Good people.

Anderson .Paak. I’ve been listening to his album, Malibu, non-stop for a month. Here's a funky and awesome performance with The Free Nationals at NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert. Groovin' tunes. (Disclaimer: contains explicit language!)

Brenton (Head Farmer): Charles Mingus. Grilling season with awesome weather. I’m on a salsa kick! Trying out new inventions of salsa. My best new invention of salsa is bacon salsa. I’ve been using farmer Montana’s roasted peppers in a roasting salsa variety that I like to make.

A Brenton breakfast. A Brenton breakfast of huevos rancheros featuring his homemade salsa and local organic oranges and grapefruit from G&S Groves.

FARM TO SEDER TABLE

04/07/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Being in the food business means that we relish highlighting and celebrating holidays where food is the cornerstone of the festivities... Seder is one of the tops when it comes to celebrations with a focal point on food and drink. This Jewish holiday is right around the corner, and marks the beginning of the eight days of Passover. Seder is not only a commemoration of the Israelite’s freedom from servitude in ancient Egypt, but also a time to welcome Spring! The gathering comprises of friends and family reading from the Haggadah, a book that outlines the story of the Israelite’s exodus through special blessings, rituals, and songs. Seder literally means “order,” and there are several rituals followed throughout the evening. Traditional food is served in synchrony with the story, and are all symbolic of specific themes within the narrative. This week, we had the immense privilege of chatting with one of our CSA members, Kathleen Rubin, about what the holiday means to her.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

What does Seder mean to you?

When I was growing up my grandfather (and then my father) lead the reading of the Haggadah during our Seder (which basically is a guide book for the Seder meal with the story of Passover and songs that we all go through as a group). Since I moved to Austin, I've hosted a Seder at my home every year (which is fun for me because I love to cook and host dinner parties) but also because I now lead the reading of the Haggadah and it makes me feel like the matriarch of my own family's tradition. I use the Haggadahs that my parents received as a wedding gift and they are just so beautifully illustrated with imagery of pomegranates and the desert. I feel nostalgic just pulling out my set of books each year.

Side note: Pomegranates are a symbol used frequently in Judaism because the 613 seeds represent the 613 mitzvahs (or commandments/good deeds) in the Torah.

As a vegetarian, how do you navigate Seder? 

When I was growing up, our Seder meal consisted of Matzah ball soup and brisket (among other things). But I've been a vegetarian since since I was 15, and that meant picking around the meal and kind of missing out. So, as I planned my own Seders as an adult I tweaked some of the traditional Passover foods to be vegetarian. I absolutely love my vegetarian Matzo Ball soup recipe and the charoset (which is a yummy mix of apples, pecans and sweet wine that is mixed together as a sort of paste intended to represent the mortar used by Jews when laying bricks as slaves in Egypt). My favorite way to eat it is between two pieces of buttered matzah with horseradish on it (horseradish represents the bitterness of slavery on the seder plate).

Is there a Seder dish that you love to cook every year? What is it?

Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup Serves 6 For the matzo balls:
  • 2 cups matzo meal (pulse matzah in food processor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon truffle salt (this is the key!!)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (you could use shmaltz, if you are not vegetarian)
  • 1/4 cup seltzer water


For the soup:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, roughly diced
  • 4 small carrots or 2 large, roughly chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup sherry or white wine
  • 2 quarts veggie stock
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves


Matzo balls: Pulse the matzo crackers in a food processor until an imperfect powder is formed. A few bigger pieces are fine. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the matzo meal, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, butter and seltzer water. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until evenly incorporated. Refrigerate mixture for about an hour (or up to 6 hours).

Heat a large stockpot of water and bring to a boil. Wet your hands a little and round matzo mixture the size of golf balls. Handle the mixture as little as possible. The lighter the touch, the lighter the matzo ball! The matzo balls will expand as you cook them.

When all matzo balls are formed and water is boiling, carefully drop each one into the boiling water. Cover and do not lift the lid for 25 minutes. (Another matzo tradition is to never check on the dumplings while they're cooking or that will cause them to be tough and heavy.) After 25 minutes, cut one ball in half and make sure it is cooked. I cooked mine for about 5 minutes more, in total 30 minutes with one lifting of the lid.

Soup: In another soup pot, get your stock going. Heat the olive oil on medium and saute the onions, carrot and celery for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are beginning to soften. Add sherry (or white wine) and cook for another 2 minutes. Add vegetable stock, garlic, bay leaves and simmer for about 30 minutes longer. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste. Add matzo balls to the stock about 15 minutes before you're ready to serve, gently warming the soup (the matzo balls will absorb some of the great stock flavor, so don't skimp on this step).

Charoset
  • 3 Medium apples peeled, cored, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts if you don't like pecans, sometimes I also sprinkle pistachios on top)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup manischewitz
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar


Stir together all ingredients and refrigerate!

Find some more recipe ideas here.

How do you incorporate your CSA share into the meal?

On the Seder plate itself there are several items that we taste throughout the meal as a reminder of the story of the Jews in Egypt. I use the dandelion greens as a bitter herb, but really any green from the box will do. Carrots in the Matzo Ball soup and other roasted veggies (more carrots and beets, too) with the meal.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

What is your favorite thing about the holiday?

Passover is a party! Sitting down and eating together and drinking many glasses of wine is just fun. I like to go through all of the songs, which I think are mainly intended to keep the kids at the table but it works on everyone. It's also nice to gather with my Jewish friends (and anyone else that's interested in participating) because it's not something I do very often. For me Judaism is a cultural expression that I am very proud of and the tradition of remembering our history of persecution as a reminder to love and care for anyone that is persecuted is a healthy ritual I enjoy each year and love sharing.

Kathleen's Seder. Kathleen's Seder.

If you are planning your Seder dinner or headed to a friend’s, don’t forget to visit us at market this weekend! We have your bitter greens and root veggies, so stock up!

In case you didn't know, we have pick-up locations at the Jewish Community Center here in Austin, and two JCCs in Houston, too! Check out our pick-up location listings here.

**A big thank you to Shelly Prant and Eric Newman for their expertise!

WEEK 14 IN PHOTOS

04/07/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Ladies getting in formation for the 5k. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Ladies getting in formation for the 5k. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

A huge thanks to everyone who participated in the Garden Gallop 5K and picnic-ed with us afterwards! We loved having everyone out to the farm. A huge thanks to AISD's Nacho Average Food Truck and Steel City Pops for making the trip out to Garfield and keeping everyone fed. Your fares were relished by all. Another huge thanks to Possum Posse, Noel McKay & Friends, and The Lost Pines for keeping everyone's toes a-tappin'. We are over the moon for you, our wonderful community. We can't wait for the next one!

Registration. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Registration. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Air Jordan. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Air Jordan. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Off to the races. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Off to the races. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Scootin'! Photo by Scott David Gordon. Flyin'! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. A victory spin. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Strong family finish. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Farm friends. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Farm friends. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Possum Posse. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Possum Posse. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Trampoline shenanigans. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Trampoline shenanigans. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Possum Posse. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tracy and Obi. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Chillin' before his set. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Noel McKay chillin' before his set. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Ready to transplant! Photo by Scott David Gordon. Ready to transplant! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Picnic-ing. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Picnic-ing. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Taking control. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Taking control. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Dancing commences! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Noel McKay and Friends. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Noel McKay and Friends. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

A big thanks to AISD's Nacho Average Food Truck! Photo by Scott David Gordon. A big thanks to AISD's Nacho Average Food Truck! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Ada running the show. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Ada running the show. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

The perfect treat to cool down with. Thanks, Steel City Pops! Photo by Scott David Gordon. The perfect treat to cool down with. Thanks, Steel City Pops! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. The Lost Pines. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Collard harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Collard-scape. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Collard-scape. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Tomatoes! Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tomatoes! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tomato plant close-up. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Cabbage patch. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Tomato cages comin' out! Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tomato cages comin' out! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tomato cage work. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Seeding. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APR 10TH

04/11/17 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 10th CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 10th

Large Box
Beet, Red
Broccoli
Carrot, Rainbow
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Basil
Herb, Fennel
Leek
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Green
Radish, Red
Turnip, Scarlett
Medium Box
Beet, Red
Broccoli
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Dill
Herb, Fennel
Leek
Onion, Green
Radish, Red
Small Box
Beet, Golden
Bok Choy
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Collards
Herb, Fennel
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Green
Radish, Red
Individual Box
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Fennel
Leek
Turnip, Purple Top

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APR 10TH

04/11/17 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 10th CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 10th

Medium Box
Broccoli
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Collards
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Leek
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Green

FENNEL TEA WITH MINT & HONEY

04/12/17 — Heydon Hatcher

By Mackenzie Smith

Photo by Mackenzie Smith. Photo by Mackenzie Smith.

Fennel fronds are the long wispy green counterparts to the bulb. I haven’t found a way to eat (and enjoy) all of the fronds from a single bulb, so I make some version of this tea every time we have fennel in the kitchen. I have really enjoyed using Yaupon Tea for this recipe, which is harvested in Bastrop, Texas and known to be North America’s only richly caffeinated plant. Before I discovered the wonder of Lost Pines, I used green tea for this formula. Use either, or omit the tea and brew the mint and the fennel together for a caffeine-free refresher.

Chop the fronds from 1 fennel bulb and add a handful of mint, along with 2 tablespoons of dried tea (or 2 teabags) to a pitcher or a pot large enough to hold at least 8 cups of water. Cover with boiling water and steep for no more than 5 minutes (a longer steep will result in a vegetal-tasting tea that is far less refreshing to sip. Once steeped, strain hot liquid through a sieve over a pot or a pitcher filled with 2 tablespoons of honey. Stir. Refrigerate and serve iced with fresh sprigs of mint, if you have them.

Photo by Mackenzie Smith. Photo by Mackenzie Smith.

WEEK 15 IN PHOTOS

04/14/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

By Montana Stovall

This week at the farm, we staked and caged our first round of tomatoes! We are continuing to plant summer crops like eggplant, summer squash, okra, melons, winter squash, cucumbers, peppers, and of course tomatoes! Broccoli made a reappearance recently, plus cabbage and cauliflower are not far away from harvest, as they have really enjoyed these recent showers. Our kale is amazing right now, potatoes look fantastic, and the taste of spring carrots and beets are hard to beat.

Dandelion greens harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Dandelion greens harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Spinach. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Spinach. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Radishes in the ground. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Radishes in the ground. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Collard contemplation. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Collard contemplation. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Farmscape. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Farmscape. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Tractor carpool. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tractor carpool. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Close-up. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Close-up. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Basil. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Basil. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Tomato flower. Photo by Scott David Gordon. In bloom. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Vineyard. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Vineyard. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Grapes in progress. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Grapes in progress. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Harvest toss. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Harvest toss. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Hoophouse progress. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Hoophouse progress. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Green 'maters. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Green 'maters. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Stunning tomatoes. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Stunning tomatoes and basil. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Broccoli. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Broccoli. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Garlic galore. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Garlic galore. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

WHAT'S SMOKIN'?

04/14/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Photo by Mackenzie Smith Photo by Mackenzie Smith**

Howdy farm-friends!

Growing up in Alabama, old-timey and antiquated smokehouses were a common sight. I loved ambling through the countryside, spotting these old wooden and brick structures, and day-dreaming of all the delectable meats that had been cured in these structures. I have been an aficionado of barbeque from the get-go... just consult with my assemblage of meat-laden cookbooks and that will give you an idea! Regardless, hailing from Lower Alabama (or LA as we say), I had an abridged barbeque education; can you believe that I grew up knowing only of hickory-smoked pork BBQ? When I finally landed in Texas, my mind was completely blown. I had not even an inkling of an idea that beef BBQ was a whole new way of life, and what a beautiful life it was/is. Brisket? Ribs? I had never heard some of the sweetest words to grace the English language and more importantly, my stomach.

Smokehouse at Five Oaks Plantation, Madison County, Alabama. Photo courtesy of George Washington University. Smokehouse at Five Oaks Plantation, Madison County, Alabama. Photo courtesy of George Washington University.

Pork BBQ. Photo by Mackenzie Smith. Pork BBQ. Photo by Mackenzie Smith**

All that meat talk aside, when I first started farming, one of the farms that really inspired me, Boggy Creek Farm, was selling smoked peppers in olive oil, and I couldn’t get enough of them. Since then, I have dabbled intermittently over the years in smoking peppers and tomatoes, but not until recently have I been swept into a veggie smokin’ fervor. When I happened upon a trio of books all about peppers authored by Jean Andrews, otherwise known as the “The Pepper Lady,” I knew it was a sign from the pepper-lovin’ heavens above that I should ride this pepper-inspired wave to whatever destination it might take me.

Jean Andrew book collection. Jean Andrew book collection.

One of our farmers, Montana, has quite the knack for smoking peppers, too, and has been graciously sharing his loot with me. I have been ceaselessly integrating them into my meals, and taking notes on his pepper prowess. On top of eating them every night with a pepper book in hand, we decided to plant over 40 varieties of peppers this year, as they not only flourish in the sweltering Texas heat but are also the perfect summertime ingredient to augment any dish. With this maelstrom of veggies monopolizing my mind, my wheels really started to turn. What would be a good way to use all these peppers and satiate my need to smoke veggies!?

Plentiful peppers. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Plentiful peppers. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Voila! A smokehouse, of course! I have been doing my fair share of research on construction, and am relishing the prospect of experimenting with smoking vegetables on a small scale this year. We have a ton of exciting projects up our sleeves here at JBG on the back forty for 2017, so this endeavor is just another to add to the list! Once I master the smaller scale smokehouse, I dream of building a larger smokehouse to eventually smoke meats… a lifelong dream! Exciting, eh? Stay posted.

Feeling like it’s about ripe time for some smoked tomatoes and/or peppers in your life? Check out some recipes here. 

What might be even more exciting is the new crops that we have headed to market this week: savoy cabbage and red potatoes! We’ve been planting eggplant, summer squash, okra, melons, winter squash, cucumbers, peppers, and last but not least, our last succession of tomatoes! Broccoli, garlic, and cauliflower are not far from harvest, so keep your eyes peeled at the market stands! ‘Til next time, folks!

Cheers, Brenton

**see more of Mackenzie Smith's images here.

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APR 17TH

04/18/17 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 17th CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 17th

Large Box
Beet, Golden
Cabbage, Green
Carrot, Orange
Cauliflower
Greens, Collards
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Green
Parsnip
Squash, Yellow Zucchini
Medium Box
Beet, Golden
Cabbage, Green
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Collards
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Green
Squash, Yellow Zucchini
Small Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Rainbow
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Greens, Kale, Dino
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Cilantro
Squash, Yellow Zucchini
Turnip, White Japanese
Individual Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Rainbow
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Onion, Green
Radish, Red
Squash, Yellow Zucchini

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APR 17TH

04/18/17 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 17th CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 17th

Medium Box
Beet, Red
Broccoli
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Dill
Herb, Fennel
Leek
Onion, Green
Radish, Red

WEEK 16 IN PHOTOS

04/21/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Farmers market bounty. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

By Becky Hume and Montana Stovall

Week 16 was a busy week as always! Our panting crew is currently getting melons, summer squash/zucchini, butternut squash, and okra in the ground.

We just finished planting 49440 tomato plants! We are currently hiring a tomato crew and starting to put out stakes, cages and stringing them up. It is going to be one of JBG's best tomato years yet! Brenton has chosen some exquisite varieties and we are sure to have a bumper crop. We started harvesting cauliflower and cabbage this week and are forecasting a great potato crop this year as well, as growing conditions for them have been almost perfect recently.

Otherwise, we are still in the process of planting pecan, persimmon, pomegranate, fig, and pear trees. It will be a few years before these bear fruit but it is exciting to have begun diversifying. Our grapes are two years old now and have are setting great looking fruit. We are all (literally) looking forward to the fruits of our labor!

We also visited one of our favorite markets this past week, the Texas Farmers' Market at Mueller. Amy, Sagan, Eric, and Adams were slingin' at market as per usual. Be sure to give them a visit and a high five if the Mueller market is on your radar this weekend.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Happy shopper. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Golden beets. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Golden beets. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Mueller market set-up. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Mueller market set-up. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Radishing reds. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Radishing reds. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Carrot bunches. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Carrot bunches. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Loot. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Sagan and Amy. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Sagan and Amy. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Collards. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Collard harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Collard harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Lettuce head details. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Lettuce head details. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Rows and rows. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Rows and rows. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Dandelion green harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Dandelion green harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Rainbow chard details. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Rainbow chard details. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Tomato cages on tomato cages. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tomato cages on tomato cages. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Transporting more tomato cages. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Transporting more tomato cages. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Primroses galore out at the farm. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Primroses galore out at the farm. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Tomatoes on the way. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tomatoes on the way. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Ah, the beauty of beets. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Ah, the beauty of beets. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Workin' hard. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Workin' hard. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Back forty views. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Back forty views. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

FROM THE FARMER'S PERSPECTIVE: SEATTLE + UPCOMING FARM EVENTS!

04/21/17 — Heydon Hatcher

I popped over to Seattle this weekend to see one of my oldest and closest friends, Todd Martin. As a fellow Alabamian, we used to roll around Enterprise on bikes and skateboards when we were young whippersnappers. During the weekends, we would spend a lot of quality time together sailing on my dad’s catamaran. We were both unconventional kids, so when the working world was on our horizon, our entrepreneurial spirits really started to shine. Instead of working under someone else, we decided to start our own yard business and call the shots. We were just two high school kids running the Enterprise yard circuit with riding lawnmowers and all the accoutrement. Fancy that! When it was time to pursue higher learning, we packed up, sold the business, and headed to Auburn. War Eagle!

Seattle dock scene. Seattle dock scene.

Post-college, Todd and I moved to Wyoming, and whilst I worked for the government, he dove into the glass-making world. I often collaborated with him in the studio during my time off, using my engineering sensibilities to help him mix other materials into the glass and create new color blends. We eventually parted ways... I headed to Texas’ fair capital city to bask in warmer temperatures, and he headed to Seattle to establish himself in the Northwest as a bona fide glass artist.

Good ole days with Todd and co. Good ole days with Todd and Co.

Todd and I. Todd and I.

Todd and I. Todd and I.

The last time I visited was 15 years ago, so it was ripe time to give old Todd a visit. We spent the weekend moseying around town, taking in the sights, and eating our way through town. One oyster house we visited had over a hundred different types of oysters, can you believe it? If ever in town, do yourself a favor and visit Elliott’s Oyster House along with The Walrus and the Carpenter... they can do no wrong. Take a friend, savor the extensive array of oyster-offerings, and relish the inimitable ambiance! We had a blast.

Elliott's Oyster House. Elliott's Oyster House.

The Walrus and the Carpenter. The Walrus and the Carpenter.

If you know me, you know that I couldn’t take a trip without checking out the farmers market scene; thus, Sunday was spent navigating the town's markets. West Seattle Farmers Market, Ballard Farmers Market, and Pikes Place Market (which is probably the most recognizable of all markets... picture the giant neon "Public Market Center' sign) were all on Todd's curated Seattle market route.The Ballard Farmers Market is considered one of the best in Washington state, and was in an older area of town. I cherished seeing some of the historical Seattle architecture while browsing the market stands. Despite being the very beginning of their season, the markets were immensely vibrant, the folks were super knowledgeable and friendly, and the menu of fish was incredible. Washington's seafood is hard to rival.

It was such a great trip... What a great town! If ever you find yourself in the Pacific Northwest, give Seattle a visit! 'Til next time!

PS - Scroll down for some awesome upcoming farm events! You won't want to miss 'em!

Fish stand. Fish stand.

IMG_6852 Some great oysters!

Yum! Yum!

Stunning flowers. Stunning flowers.

Such a great town. Such a great town.

UPCOMING FARM EVENTS!

THIS WEEKEND: This Saturday, Artfest 2017 will be setup along side the Sunset Valley Farmers Market. We can't think of a better weekend to visit the Sunset Valley Market.

On Sunday, the Edible Austin Children's Picnic will be going on at Rosewood Park, and we will be there slinging veggies. If you've got kiddos, you DO NOT want to miss this free, fun-filled day.

Beginning this Sunday at the Mueller Farmers Market, the City of Austin will be hosting several free chicken keeping classes. If you purchase a coop for a selected retailer, you can even get a $75 rebate from the city!

COMING UP! On Thursday May 18th, we'll be hosting a Meet the Farmer(s) Happy Hour at The ABGB from 6-8pm. Perfect opportunity for all you central and south Austinites to come and hang with your farmers and friends!

Beginning Next Monday (4/24), we will begin to accept volunteers on Mondays at our Hergotz Location. If you've been hankering to put your free Monday to good use, join us!

Also, Happy Earth Day from JBG (4/22), we sure do cherish and love our home planet!

MUSTARD GREEN STROGANOFF

04/24/17 — Heydon Hatcher

By Megan Winfrey

Sometimes you just need a big bowl of comfort food. For me, sometimes is more like weekly. Mustard greens add a peppery punch to this classic beef stroganoff, making it even more hearty and satisfying.

Mustard Green Stroganoff
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of mustard greens, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground beef or venison
  • 3 tbs. all purpose flour
  • 1 tbs. paprika
  • 1/4 cup IPA beer (I used Castaway IPA by Kona Brewing Co.)
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 4 cups egg noodles
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • Shredded fresh parmesan, for garnish
unnamed-1

Heat the oil and butter, over medium, in a large dutch oven or pasta pot.

Add the onion and cook until softened, about 4 or 5 minutes. Add the garlic and beef, season with salt and pepper, and break the meat up with the tip of your wooden spoon.

Cook, stirring throughout, until no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle the flour and paprika over the meat mixture and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes.

Add the beer, stir, and scrape up the crusty pits off the bottom of the pan. Let cook for 1-2 minutes until almost absorbed. Add the broth, more salt and pepper, and stir. Increase the heat and bring to a simmer.

Add the noodles, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are cooked to al dente. Once pasta is cooked, add mustard greens and heat for 1 or so minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream, season as needed. Ladle into deep bowls and top with cheese.

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APR 24TH

04/25/17 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 24th CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 24th

Large Box
Beet, Golden
Cabbage, Green
Carrot, Orange
Cauliflower
Greens, Collards
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Green
Parsnip
Squash, Yellow
Medium Box
Beet, Golden
Cabbage, Green
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Collards
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Green
Squash, Yellow
Small Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Rainbow
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Greens, Kale, Dino
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Cilantro
Squash, Yellow
Turnip, White Japanese
Individual Box
Beet, Red
Carrot, Rainbow
Greens, Chard, Rainbow
Onion, Green
Radish, Red
Squash, Yellow

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF APR 24TH

04/25/17 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 24th CSA Box Contents Week of Apr 24th

Medium Box
Beet, Golden
Cabbage, Green
Carrot, Orange
Greens, Collards
Greens, Kale, Curly
Greens, Spinach
Herb, Cilantro
Herb, Fennel
Lettuce, Mixed head bag
Onion, Green
Squash, Yellow

MAGENTA HAND PIES WITH SPICED LENTILS, BROWN BUTTER LEEKS + GOAT CHEESE

04/27/17 — Heydon Hatcher

purple+goat+cheese+handpies.+mackannecheese-2By The World in a Pocket

The bits and bobs from a quick refrigerator survey before you go out of town, before you need to make space for your new CSA (yes, #blessed), are also strong building blocks for a pragmatic pastry or a down-to-earth-dumpling. If it tastes good before you put it in a pocket, there is a solid chance it will be even better when you mix it with something else that also tastes good. Pockets also serve as a solid solution for forgotten produce in the back of your crisper, shriveled and softer than they should be, but not too far gone. Leftovers and stragglers can take on a whole new life wrapped up in a tender dumpling skin or a flaky pastry, and less food goes to waste all around.

Perishables in our fridge, before we leave town for 5 days:
  • Purple sweet potatoes, roasted
  • 1 big whole roasted beet
  • A little over a cup of cooked lentils, spiced with whole cumin and coriander
  • 2 sad leeks
  • Not even half a glass of Pinot Grigio
  • 2 opened, partially consumed packages of goat cheese
Photo by The World in a Pocket Photo by The World in a Pocket

The leeks are gritty, so I chop those first and put them in a bowl filled with water to loosen up the dirt while I think about what to do with everything else. Purple sweet potatoes mashed with a deep red beet make a special shade of magenta. Stirring in the lentils with salt and pepper seems to be the simplest approach. Done. I skim the leeks from the top of the bowl full of water and marvel for a second at the amount of dirt that remains at the bottom, silently thanking an old boyfriend for teaching me that trick when I was 21, never having a thought about a leek before I moved to NYC in 2006. I melt 2 tablespoons of butter as I rinse the leeks one more time. The butter has browned by the time the leeks go into the saucepan with a big pinch of salt, and they cook for about 2 minutes before I empty the white wine into the pan and turn up the heat. Once the liquid is reduced, (about 5 minutes), I stir what remains of the leeks/brown butter/white wine into the sweet potato mixture. That all goes into the fridge while I roll out the dough.

The well-tested recipe for empanada dough from Epicurious is my go-to for hand pies and empanadas. I double the recipe because I am never upset about extra pie dough. I cut the dough into circles using a cocktail tumbler, which makes about 20 small hand pies-- just the right amount of dough-to-filling ratio this time around. I roll & cut the dough on a piece of parchment paper that will fit right onto a baking sheet. Each hand pie takes two pieces of round dough. A tablespoon of the sweet potato mixture onto one disc, topped with a sprinkle of goat cheese, then covered with another disc of dough. The tines of a dinner fork pressed around the edges seal each pie, tops pricked. The cookie sheet full of savory pies goes into the freezer for 20 minutes before I take it out and carefully place the pockets in a ziplock bag and put them back.

Photo by The World in a Pocket. Photo by The World in a Pocket.

Check out the wonders of The World in a Pocket's IG here.

TOMATO PHOTOS BANNER

04/27/17 — Farm

tomato picture banner

 

WEEK 17 IN PHOTOS

04/28/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Will. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Will. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Week 17 has tomatoes on our minds... We've planted almost 50,000 tomato plants, and this year's crop should be one of our best yet. Chompin' at the bit, and want to pre-order some tomatoes? Check out our special weeklong pre-sale here.

Our Victoria Red Table grapes are three years old now (vineyard images below), and are maturing wonderfully. A huge shout-out goes to Andrew Labay for talking with our Farm Manager and Head Grower about growing grapes in Texas. He mentioned something very interesting while he met with us - seasoned grape growers do not recommend cultivating grapes organically (because they are sensitive to pests and disease); however, our grapes look terrific! He was immensely excited about our experiment since there aren't many organic growers in the area. He is thrilled to be working with us, and is invaluable in helping us navigate the challenges we face that are different from conventional growers.

On top of that, we are ready to start constructing the trellis system for one of our newest crops, the muscadines! YEEHAW!

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon

CSA boxes ready to get filled. Photo by Scott David Gordon. CSA boxes ready to get filled. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Transplanting. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Transplanting. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Basil babies. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Basil babies. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Tomato fields. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tomato fields. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Vineyards. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Vineyards. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Grapes a-growin'. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Grapes a-growin'. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Vineyard. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Vineyard. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Garlic. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Garlic. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Farm tour. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Farm tour. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

One happy dude. Photo by Scott David Gordon. One happy dude. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Blossom + bee. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Blossom + bee. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Watering transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Watering transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Tizzy of tomatoes. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tizzy of tomatoes. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

'MATER MADNESS - TOMATO PRE-SALE

04/28/17 — Heydon Hatcher

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

We just finished planting 49,440 tomato plants! It's like farmers gone wild over here at JBG. We are caught in a tizzy of tomatoes, and want to extend a special offer to you. For this week only, we’re having a bulk tomato pre-sale. We will be offering 25 lbs of our mouth-watering beef steak slicing tomatoes for $50! That’s right, you heard us! This is a discounted price from our regular bulk sale prices in June and July. Beef steak tomatoes are our favorite variety for BLTs, hamburgers, and tomato sandwiches. They are great for slicing, dicing, juicing, canning, roasting, saucing, sandwiches, and salads. These are the all-around tomato and are sweet, juicy, and delectable! Pre-order them now, and we will deliver them to a farmers’ market of your choice during the peak of our tomato season. Projected delivery dates are between June 1st and June 30th. We will contact you to schedule your pickup day.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Why all the pre-sale hype? Well, this year’s ‘mater harvest should be one for the books. We have chosen some exquisite varieties for you this year, and we should have quite the bumper crop. Every time we walk by our rows of tomatoes, our mouths start watering at the thought of farm-fresh BLTs, bright tomato sauces, and perhaps our favorite way to enjoy a homegrown tomato - sliced thick with salt, pepper, and a bit of olive oil. We got that ‘mater mania! How can you not start ruminating on salsa, homemade ketchup, margherita pizza, marinara sauce, caprese salad, and all the summertime sweetness when waltzing through the vastness of the tomato fields? We love the succulent produce that comes with the impending and sweltering heat. We listed some all-star food blog recipes below to get you pondering and perusing what you will be making with your tomatoes this season.

Tomato fields forever. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tomato fields forever. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Tomato fields forever x 2. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tomato fields forever x 2. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Tomato field panorama. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tomato field panorama. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Love tomatoes, but struggle with finding good recipes? Look no further:

Photo by Mackenzie Smith. Photo by Mackenzie Smith.






Pre-order your 'maters now! We promise they're just like the ones your momma grew! (Or daddy, or grandpaw, or Uncle Bob...)

Looking to work on the farm? We are looking to hire a Greenhouse Manager as soon as possible! Check out more info here.

Want to help us with our tomato bounty? We have a tomato work-day coming up on May 6th. Interested volunteers can email volunteer@jbgorganic.com with “tomato volunteering” in subject line. We always appreciate the smiles and help!

2017 TOMATO PRESALE BANNER

04/28/17 — Farm

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